It’s Earth Day! It seems that half of all news I have read recently has been on Green...Green Jobs, Green Cars, Green Fuel, Green Earth, Green, Green, Green. Green is actually my favorite color. I was pleased to learn today that Bart, just a few blocks away, is also getting greener.
BART is celebrating Earth Day by giving its Richmond maintenance shop a massive green make over. Starting today, crews will install 912 photovoltaic solar energy panels on the Richmond maintenance shop roof—enough panels to generate the power to lift a 25-ton BART car. The system is estimated to avoid more than 4.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years. "Not only will BART host a clean renewable solar energy system, it’s replacing the shop’s old, outdated lamps with high-efficiency florescent lighting," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "Both conservation efforts will save energy and taxpayers money along with reducing our carbon footprint." "The lighting upgrade will reduce energy use at the shop by one third and result in cost savings of $107,000 a year," BART Board member Bob Franklin said. Franklin chairs the Board’s first Sustainability/Green Committee. Richmond's maintenance shop works 24/7, meaning there are a lot of lights and machinery to operate using traditional energy. But with the installation of over 900 solar panels on the shop's roof, two-thirds of that electricity will now come from the sun.
"The Richmond yard is perfectly suited for this upgrade because of the direction, the location, the sun and the size," said Bob Franklin, a BART board member who chairs agency's green committee. "It has a flat roof, there's nothing in the way of the sun, no trees or other buildings that obstruct the solar panels."
Richmond Bart Yard (photo by Ian Jancoski)
Sign Inside of Bart Station